Nov 4, 2010

Monkey Bread

Got to have breakfast with some of my friends yesterday morning and I made Monkey Bread. Can you say YUMMY?????? I took the recipe from Pioneer Woman.


After two steroidal epidural injections, I am finally out of pain. I'm not crying anymore and I can walk again!!! I'm hoping this will work and am saving the third injection in case I need it. Going to see a neurosurgeon at Northwestern in two weeks as the doctors here want to operate. In my mind, that is a last resort!

Did a few pages while I was stuck at home dealing with my injury and the construction in the basement. The carpet is being installed right now and I can't wait for it to be done! I can't take the mess and disorganization that my house has become. I need order! BUT, I now have a REAL art room for myself and I had it painted a light pink. I'm not sure I really like the color, but I can always change it. I think I'm going to make it my mom cave and really have fun decorating it so I love working in there. I still don't have any natural light as it is in the basement, but it is my own space and I can't wait to get in there again!!!
My kids collected a RIDICULOUS amount of candy on Halloween and of course I'm the one who can't stop eating it! This happens every year. They both went as Ninjas and had lots of fun
at our neighborhood party and then trick-or-treating with friends.
Here they are doing their best ninja poses before their school party.

Oct 6, 2010

doodles & charms

I was playing around with my paints and paper canvas a few weeks ago and this is what I ended up with. I limited my play time to 30 minutes and only 5 -6 colors. Was fun, but I need to do this more so I don't analyze, plan and over think. It's hard to be free and let go.

My back has been terrible for the last month and about a week and a half ago it completely went out. I experienced the most horrible pain that just wouldn't subside. This has happened many times before, but as I'm getting older these "episodes" have been happening more often, with more intensity and lasting longer. I couldn't move my right leg. There were a LOT of tears here! Not to bore you with the details, but it turns out I have a BIG herniated disc. Yesterday I got a steroidal epidural which was excruciating. I cried in the procedure room.

It seems like it is working b/c today is the first day in almost 2 weeks that I don't have any pain. My sister (who is a Dr.) reminded me that I'm still experiencing the side effects of the anesthetic and the initial load of steroids. I'm hoping this works, because if not I was told I need surgery!

So I have been depressed b/c I haven't been able to really do anything. LOTS of lying around, which I'm not good at. I have been doodling and drawing in my journal. It's been challenging b/c we are also building out the basement and I am getting my own art area that is going to be great!!! It's not going to be with the workout equipment anymore and I plan to make it all mine and pretty. I'm very excited! But, I've been dealing with banging, drilling, hammering, sawing, etc. while not feeling well. The steroids are making me feel awful, and every now and then I feel a twinge in my back.

I'm hoping this is it for the medical issues. They say things come in 3's right? It started this summer with that awful bug bite on my foot that I reacted to, then my tooth surgery and now my back. I should be done now, right??????

I found these cool charms at Michaels. You can use them with other components to make charm necklaces and bracelets. I think I am going to use these on upcoming journals. I need to get going because I want to try to sell some journals on Etsy! They need to finish the basement ASAP and my back needs to recover on its own so I can do my thing!

Sep 14, 2010

I have had a crazy few days filled with lots of emotion. I guess the fact is that at some point,
you truly need to face the music and deal with the hurt and pain. Keeping it all closed up
can only last so long. The time has come for me to get some resolution so I can finally close
a certain chapter for good. Hopefully, healing will come and the hurt & anger will dissipate.
This quote is so true. I will not wither away!

Sep 11, 2010

I recently was offered a job teaching how to make and create an art journal at a local art school. I am excited for this new journey! Who knows where it will lead? I made two samples that could be shown because many people don't know what this is. Yesterday I got a call from the school's owner telling me that those who have seen the samples love them and are excited for the class! The owner said she loved my work and was blown away by the vibrant colors. I am in the process of putting it all together and outlining the scope and sequence of what I am going to teach . If enough people sign up, the class will start the first week of October. Woo hoo!!

Sep 6, 2010

cake pops

Do you know Bakerella? If not, check her out at
My girlfriend bought me the book
CAKE POPS (by Angie Dudley) for my birthday. I decided to make cupcake pops for the BBQ we are going to today. Here is how they came out from start to finish! Delish, not too messy and only three fell apart.
Ready to try all the cute designs in the book and perfect my skills. Working in 3-D is challenging but fun! Best of all, you can eat the ones that don't work. :)
Have a safe Labor Day!

Aug 19, 2010

Pages from Teesha Moore workshop

As I posted last month, I had THE BEST time in OH with Teesha Moore. It has taken me a while to start posting some of the pages I created in the book I assembled. Life is starting to shift back to routines as school is starting next week. Crazy!

I had surgery on my tooth and the prognosis is good! I try not to think about what the surgeon did, because when I do think about it, I get freaked out. No one can tell when they look at me, but I am VERY self conscious when I smile. My smile is a little altered too! My kids love to look at it and exclaim, "GROSS!!!" or "EEEWWWW!" :)

Anyway, I am looking forward to getting some time to create. It has been VERY sparse this summer. Not only does my daughter love to use my supplies, but now ALL of her friends love it too. The time is coming (I think) for me to act upon my desire to teach kids. I have an interview at a local place, but I am not an art teacher. I am a certified teacher who is an artist. Not sure if it will matter. Would it matter to you? I wouldn't care as long as creativity was embraced and the enthusiasm and fun existed. I'll let you know what happens!

Aug 2, 2010

Stella & Dot

So it is official. My job as a personal stylist for Stella & Dot is up and running! My launch was a great success and everyone is SO happy with their new jewels. This line is fabulous - - - trendy
and fun at a great price point. The best part is . . . . if you host a trunk show, you will earn hundreds of dollars in FREE jewelry!!!! The fall/winter line was recently launched and I have my samples in. Last week I was able to check out the entire new releases in person and they are SPECTACULAR! This line is highly coveted by celebrities and it has been featured in Lucky & InStyle magazines (to name a few). The line has been featured on Good Morning America and Oprah. The company also has a foundation that supports various women's organizations. Check out the line and let me know what you think. I would LOVE to put on a trunk show for you! It doesn't matter where you live. Once you see it, you will fall in love too!

Jul 19, 2010

Teesha Moore

Life has taken over and I can't believe it has been SO long since I've posted!! I just got home last night from a 3 day workshop in Ohio with Teesha Moore. I have to say it was fantastic! Besides spending three full days ALONE, I was able to truly immerse myself in my art for hour
after hour without any interruption! It was intense! I was focused! I was around like-minded people! I was inspired! I was motivated! I was alive! This is the second time I've done this and I hope to be able to do it at least once a year.

This is the front and back cover of the journal we created. Of course we used my favorite paper - Fabriano Artistico Hot-Press watercolor- and stitched it all together. I love the process of making the journal as much as art journaling.

Tomorrow I will show you some of the pages I made inside! Next on my list, Art Fest!

Jun 24, 2010

Just be you

I don't know where I found this quote by E. E. Cummings, but this is SO true! I am trying to instill this value in my kids every single day. It is tough, especially in a community where I question if they TRULY celebrate and embrace individuality, uniqueness and creativity. My jury is still out on this one. Only time will tell!

It's coming! It's right around the corner and I can't believe it! My little girl turns 6 on July 1 and it feels like only yesterday I was wondering if I was in labor. Where has all the time gone by? I was looking through pictures the other day, and I remember everything about every single shot. I miss those days, yet I am loving who she is and who she is becoming now. Every day, I am still in awe of watching (really being there) with my kids as they are growing up.

Gia and I made her invitations. This has been a tradition since the beginning! Now that she is getting older, she wants to make them. I still like to have some control over how they look, but I know it won't be long until she is designing and creating them all on her own. She'll probably even make them for other kids and start her own business!

Jun 18, 2010

My space

Right now my space is everywhere in the house! Sometimes, my daughter and I create in the kitchen. Here she is playing in her art journal! I often bring my art journal and pens into bed. I don't really like carrying things throughout the house.
When we moved into this house 3 years ago, my husband decided part of the unfinished basement would be my art area. I was SO excited to have my own area!! I wouldn't need to lug out box after box of supplies every time I wanted to create. He bought me this awesome table at IKEA. It is huge and completely adjustable. The metal cabinet is an antique doctor's cabinet that I bought from Anthropologie when I bought my first condo. I felt so grown up!

I have enough room to play in any medium (painting, drawing, art journaling, jewelry, soldering, mixed media, knitting, coptic stitch binding,etc.). I love learning and everything I create is self taught. I have always created and I can't think of a time when art wasn't part of my life.

I love having my own space where I can play and leave stuff out. I am able to just flow in and out! However, it is cold and I wish I had natural light. I also wish the walls were finished so I could make my space pretty. Maybe one day!
This is my baby Max. He is a Havanese that was rescued from a puppy mill. No matter what time it is, he is always with me in my space!
I LOVE creating with my almost 6 year old. I have learned to let her use my supplies - even the good stuff! I find her work inspiring and she reminds me how to let go. It is not about perfection!

I really love my paper stash. The Paper Source is one of my favorite stores, and recently I found some beautiful handmade paper at World Market. I love using this paper in my collage work in my art journals, but more recently I use it when I bind books.
I keep some of the books and magazines I find inspirational easily accessible. I find it helpful to reread them and always seem to find something new.
Our workout equipment is across from my area so I can fit in my workouts. I can't tell you how many times I've been on the stairclimber, been hit with an idea, jump off and paint/draw in my art journal. Sometimes I mix my physical workouts with my creative workouts!

Jun 16, 2010


Yippeee!!! Look what finally came yesterday? My husband bought me an iPad for my birthday! I was completely surprised and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I waited for the FedEx guy every day, and it took almost two weeks to get here. When he finally showed up, I was gone! I threw the kids in the car and drove to the address on the slip to pick it up. When I got home, I immediately connected it to our Mac only to discover it wouldn't run because our operating system wasn't current enough. UGH! I ended up driving the computer down to the Apple Store and leaving it overnight to get the system updated to Leopard. There were lots of difficulties with phone calls and incorrect information, so they did the upgrade for free!!
Hurray for me. Picked up the Mac today and am just now getting ready to play with the pad. I already downloaded iBooks (free right now!) and got Winnie the Pooh. So cool! I'm so excited. Off to play with my new toy.

Jun 12, 2010

journal play

I've been wanting to create, but feeling a little stuck. I think it's because I don't have time to
play on a regular basis. Now that the kids are on summer vacation, my time is limited. I'm back to creating at night and by 10PM, I'm just so tired! The kids are staying up much later playing, swimming, reading, etc.

So here are a few background pages I was able to throw together. Not sure what I'm going to do with them. I'm happy with the two faces on top. I did these fast this morning while everyone else was eating breakfast, watching TV and watching Transformers on YouTube. My husband thinks the dark haired girl looks like Katy Perry. Time to play with faces more!

Jun 7, 2010

Mixed Media playtime

I haven't posted lately because I've been so busy with the kids! Day camp does not exist out here, which is so foreign to me. Where I'm from, no one ever asked, "What are you doing this summer?" We asked, "What camp are you going to?" I know my friends have heard me repeat this before, but I'm still amazed that when I talk about day camp out here, people look at me like I'm an alien! Needless to say, I've spent the last few days scheduling activities, registering and schleping my kids everywhere with me. Pool time has been great and they really have fun playing together. I'm just not sure how long this will last over the next 11 weeks. I LOVED camp as a kid, and I know they would have a blast. I also know that it is all relative. They can't miss something they've never experienced either.

Additionally, my birthday was on Friday. I can't believe I'm 39. Crazy!! I had a wonderful weekend celebrating with my friends and family. My mom brought me a cake from Deerfield's Bakery and today I couldn't stop eating it. My good friends all know my philosophy with cake and I couldn't stop myself today. So much for watching what I eat!

Yesterday was Gia's dance recital. It was 3 hours long! She was amazing. She knew every step in both routines (jazz & hip hop). I was SO proud of her, but more importantly she was proud of herself. She told me she wants to take ballet again. Now I have to figure out what to do with the costumes!

The above picture is the beginnings of the mixed media piece I'm trying out with the funky background. I think it looks too busy, but I will play with it and see what happens. I'm feeling a little blocked because working in the basement while it's beautiful outside isn't so motivating. I could carry everything upstairs, but I just don't want to. I'm hoping my mojo will return soon!

Jun 2, 2010

I can't believe my kids have already been on summer vacation for a week! Last Friday, we flew to San Francisco for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary. How amazing is that! We had a good time seeing family, playing at the beach, eating, visiting, etc. They had a party at the Cliff House which was beautiful. The view from the private room was great! Big windows looking out over the cliff into the ocean was cool and the kids liked watching the surfers.

Dragged the family to Japan Town so I could go to Kinokuniya, but my husband only had enough quarters for 20 minutes. I had to move fast! This was my first time there and I SO wish I had tons of time to browse. I did pick up some Japanese washi tape, decorative packing tape and some pens. The bookstore looked amazing even though everything was in Japanese.

The flight home was delayed and long. My entry above is related to something I read in one of the in-flight magazines on United. It has stuck with me and is so true. You see, we now live in a suburb that is OBSESSED with sports and we just don't get it. Everyone here thinks their child is the best and is the one to go pro. Whatever happened to playing sports for the sake of learning how to play, how to be part of a team and to have fun? The parents here get mean and so competitive. Don't they realize these kids are 6, 7 or 8? My kids want to play to have fun, not because they care about being the best. I find most of it to be pathetic and a turn off. Maybe one day we will move to an area where creating is highly valued too!

May 25, 2010


Here is a really cool background I created using some of my new supplies! I have some ideas, now I just need time to really play around. This is on canvas paper, which I have never used before. I'm thinking book covers or a mixed media piece maybe????

After trying a zillion different recipes for banana bread, I FINALLY found one that is super yummy! Check out and you will see this recipe and some amazing
pictures of cookies and cupcakes. Now I want to make sugar cookies and learn how to frost with royal icing.

Is it hot where you are? It was over 90 again today! We are ready for the pool to open. Only two days of school left and then off to San Francisco for the weekend. Does anyone know of any great independent art stores I should check out? Please let me know. In the ten years we've been going there, I've never found any great/unique art supply stores.

May 24, 2010

Today I finally did it! I broke down and bought some gouache by Holbein at Dick Blick. I couldn't wait any longer. The colors are more vibrant in person, I think the light in the room
washed out the tubes. I also bought some canvases, bleeding tissue paper and watercolor canvas paper. I can't wait to play!!!! I better hurry up though because Thursday is the last day of school and you-know-who is going to want to use all of my new toys! How can it be summer vacation already???

The dinner I made in the slow cooker was disappointing. The amazing smell didn't match up with the taste. There was NO FLAVOR! I think it all wafted into the air. It was like eating boiled chicken. The good news: the dogs LOVED it!

May 21, 2010

Slow Cooker

I am always searching for something new to make for dinner. I bought a slow cooker about 3 years ago after my sister insisted it was the best thing ever. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what to cook in it. I looked on-line, but the recipes were mostly stews and I knew I wouldn't get a good response from the crowd here. Recently, I kept hearing about this cookbook Fix It and Forget It. I went out yesterday and bought it. Here is what is cooking right now while we speak. It is Greek chicken. It smells sooooooooooooooooo yummy! I will let you know how it tastes. I bought another cookbook, but I'll tell you about it in another posting.

May 17, 2010

Sr. Seuss

I haven't posted or created ANYTHING in a while as we have had family in town. It is almost impossible for me to escape when I need to cook and clean up. This is a page I put together a while ago and recently came across.

Dr. Seuss was a very wise man. There is much to be gained from his stories! I stand behind
this quote of his and hope to instill this belief in my children. It still amazes me how I still
experience this exact thing with one specific person in my life. The fact that I am ignored means this person minds what I am saying and doesn't value me. I'm done with it!

May 12, 2010

Daughter's Collage

I just LOVE this collage my 5.5 year old created. (I HAVE to say the 1/2 part!). Gia refers to herself as an artist and has decided that when she grows up, she will be an artist, a veterinarian and something else - but I forgot! Anyway, she is great with color combinations and the details she adds to her drawings are fantastic. I will have to post a drawing or two soon. She has a thing for my supplies and even though she has her own, she only wants to use mine! I love the times we spend creating side by side, yet together.

The bottom picture shows two of my new journals I have just started. The left one still needs to be bound. I am trying it Teesha Moore style and am nervous because I used my all time favorite paper inside (Fabriano Artistico hot press) and I don't want to ruin it. The one on the right is sewn together a la Tessha Moore's directions on You Tube. Fast, easy and fantastic! This is the third one I've made like this. I'm also into Coptic stitching. What are you currently working on?

May 10, 2010

No One But You

Here is my recently finished piece! I had fun creating this one. It is definitely mixed media -
acrylics, watercolor pencils, tissue paper, paper, gel pens, alcohol, ink stamps and natural bees wax. I polished the wax with a bag and it is shiny!

May 8, 2010

Tape Giveaway

Check out this giveaway! These tapes are SO YUMMY. I want to buy them all!

May 7, 2010

Playing Around

Here is what I've been playing around with. I think I like it so far, not completely sure. I love how the elephant is coming out and I dig the sky! I'm going for depth here. The house is quiet, but I am just SO tired that I've been sitting here staring at this, trying to figure out what to do with the grass. I painted some flowers and wiped them off b/c I didn't like how it looked. Any ideas??? My son would tell me to add some Transformers, and my daughter would tell me to add a unicorn. What do you think?

Speaking of my son . . . . today was the 2nd Grade Mother's Day Tea. It was wonderful and I got teary eyed. Jake memorized his entire role of narrator for the play! I had no idea. He even spoke with an accent. He was a little nervous, but I was so proud of him for getting on stage in front of all the moms and his classmatess. Jake presented me with an entire folder of things he wrote about me in honor of Mother's Day and I was amazed. These are treasures that will be saved. I hugged him tight - - stunned in awe at the fantastic son we have.

Here is a sampling of what touched me.
I am me because of you...
I have eyes so that I can see you.
I have ears so that I can hear you read to me.
I smile because I like laughing.
I use my brain to draw my ideas.
I have a heart to love you.
I have arms to hug you.
I am me because of you, and for that I thank you!
Happy Mother's Day!

May 6, 2010


Ok, so I've been in a slump lately. I think it's this whole tooth thing. I had to go to the dentist again today to get impressions made for the temporary. I felt nauseous sitting there, listening to the different possibilities. I didn't cry even though I wanted to.

Anyway, I have wanted to paint and draw lately but just feel stuck. This is our living room which STILL isn't finished. I know my husband wants to kill me! I decided to do a leopard on leopard pattern that is texturized using Lusterstone. It looks BEAUTIFUL, but the stencils are literally falling apart and I have lost my steam. I refuse to go spend more $$$$ for new stencils when there isn't that much left to complete. I MUST FINISH THIS! Every time I apply the material, pieces fly off and it gets everywhere. I only have that little corner & part of a small wall to finish and then I have to finish painting around the windows and trim under the tray ceiling. I just need the motivation to finish it! This is so not like me not to have it done already.
I am annoyed with myself, but then I say get over it and just do it. Ok, I will as soon as I have time. Maybe tomorrow afternoon?!?!